Thursday, May 14th 2009

The Need for Speed

At the end of March, we launched a new version of our website at Eskilstuna-Kuriren, ekuriren.se. We replaced our ancient content manger with a new, modern, flexible system known as Polopoly. Polopoly is developed in Sweden and used by many of the large Swedish news sites.

The launch went smoothly, but soon we started getting e-mail upon e-mail from users about speed problems. After a while it turned out that many Internet Explorer users were having huge problems both loading the page and scrolling the page.

Apparently, when loading the website in Internet Explorer it can sometimes make the whole computer slow down to a halt, forcing a hard reboot. If you manage to load the page, it can scroll painfully slowly.

Obviously, this mainly shows that the site hasn’t been properly tested. A huge majority of our visitors use Internet Explorer. Or at least they used to. Perhaps the percentage has gone down now, from people simply giving up on us. It truly amazes me how the developers still haven’t properly managed to sort out the performance issues. They have supposedly been working on this from day one, which is almost two months back now.

While I still haven’t actually heard a precise technical explanation of what the problem is, this experience shows in a very tangible way how big a difference there is between Internet Explorer and the more modern browsers when it comes to speed. Whether it is the scripting engine or the rendering engine or something else that is causing the problems for Internet Explorer users I don’t know.

What I do know is that we simply haven’t had a single complaint about performance from Firefox or Safari users.

Here’s to hoping that the site admins get the issues sorted as soon as possible and that all browsers will be able to display our news site without the user suffering serious illnesses from frustration.

One Response to this post:

  1. Anonymous says:

    David,Did you finally discover what the cause of the IE performance issues were?StL